Alert: The newest scam (fwd)

James Woodson jwoodson at
Sat Oct 19 17:19:53 EST 1996

>>>>  A new scam has been identified by the National Fraud Information Center
>>>>  that is costing victims BIG BUCKS!
>>>>  The scam works basically like this:
>>>>  You get home and notice that the message light is blinking on your
>>>>  answering machine.  You listen to the message, which has several
>>>>  wrinkles, but the best one is the caller asks you to call a number
>>>>  beginning with area code 809 to receive information about a family
>>>>  member who has been ill.  (They may also tell you someone has been
>>>>  arrested, died, you have won a wonderful prize, etc.)
>>>>  In any event, concerned or curious, you make the call. Sometimes the
>>>>  phone will be answered by a person who claims to speak broken
>>>>  English.  (The idea is to keep you on the line to build up charges.)
>>>>  Or,
>>>>  sometimes you will just get a long recorded message.  The bottom line
>>>>  is,
>>>>  when your phone bill comes, you see this incredible charge, oftentimes
>>>>  more than $100.00 dollars!
>>>>  Crooks are using the 809 numbers as "pay-per-calls" and to get around
>>>>  the US Regulations and 900 number blocking.  Every time you call the
>>>>  number, they get a greatly inflated rebate from the foreign phone
>>>>  company.  Since the 809 numbers are in the Caribbean, they aren't
>>>>  bound by US 900 number regulations that require them to warn you of
>>>>  the charge and rate involved, and also to provide a time period during
>>>>  which you may terminate the call without being charged.
>>>>  The newest twist to this scam is to page people using the 809 numbers.
>>>>  With the new area code changes, people unknowingly are returning
>>>>  these calls.  When the bill comes, there are HUGE charges for the
>>>>  The National Fraud Information Center suggests that no matter how you
>>>>  get the message, if you are asked to call a number with an 809 area
>>>>  code that you don't recognize,  DON'T RETURN THE CALL!  It's bad
>>>>  enough that the criminal is invading your privacy, don't let them
>>>>  you wallet as well!
>>>>  Scams of this type are extremely hard to prosecute and since you did
>>>>  actually make the call, neither your local phone company or your long
>>>>  distance carrier will want to get involved.  They'll tell you that they
>>>>  are
>>>>  simply providing the billing for the foreign company.  You end up
>>>>  to
>>>>  deal (over the phone) with a foreign company that feels they have done
>>>>  no wrong.  It can turn into a real nightmare!
>>>     >  >  Please forward this to friends and family!!!!!

James Woodson* (jwoodson at
Dept. of Psychology - Behavioral Neuroscience
University of California at Los Angeles
405 Hilgard Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90095

 " To make a great dream come true, the first requirement is a great
capacity to dream.  The second is persistence - a faith in the dream." -
Hans Selye, M.D.

*Research in Learned Helplessness, Adenosine,
 Anatomical Sex Differences in the Brain (SDN-POA), and Sexual Motivation

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